Tonight the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago begins a series of free film screenings that will take place over the next four Tuesdays at 6 PM. With the exception of the final selection, La Dolce Vita (1960), none of these titles are especially well-known in the United States. Yet all of them are from the greatest era of Italian cinema, which began roughly with the end of World War II and lasted until the mid-1970s. As a fan of Luchino Visconti, I’m most looking forward to Bellissima (1951), which plays next week, but tonight’s selection, Bitter Rice (1949), is worth seeing as well.